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After Midnight First Preview

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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/18/13 at 10:41pm
After Midnight is 90 minutes of pure, unadulterated joy. It is without a doubt the best (Broadway) musical so far this season, containing the best choreography and the strongest cohesive group of performances. There isn't a hint of "weak link" with this production from the cast to the creative team to the orchestra and arrangements. The lighting, the costumes, the sound design: it's all perfect. There is nothing to be done during the preview period, so with all the time they will have on their hands Warren Carlyle should stage a second and third encore, because it's so tragic when the evening ends.

I don't know where to start, but Fantasia is a good enough place as any. She is so good and in such terrific voice- I was amazed. She gets four big numbers: I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Stormy Weather, Zaz Zuh Zaz and On the Sunny Side of the Street.

I Can't Give You Anything But Love is breezy, jazzy and she gets to show off some of her scatting ability. (I guess I've listened to Ain't Misbehavin' too many times because I'm always disappointed when I don't hear, "If Woolworth sold diamond bracelets you'd have a million of 'em, baby." ha) She handles Stormy Weather with ease and hits a few big notes. I wasn't familiar with Zaz Zuh Zaz, but it's a real crowd pleaser, and then what she did with Sunny Side of the Street. No one tops Eileen Farrell's version, but boy oh boy did she come close.

Next: Adriane Lenox. Someone must have told Lenox that a pair of Tonys look better on the shelf than a solitary award because she turned it on tonight like some four alarm fire. Her first song, Women Be Wise, is a masterclass in selling a comedy number. I love her so much it's ridiculous. Why are people not writing musicals for this woman?!

Then this crazy, insane out of her mind tapper/singer (Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards) does this nutso routine with two other guys called Raisin' the Rent. I was so enthralled and think she's a certifiable lunatic to dance like that.

I could just go on and on and on about every performer, but do yourself a favor and go experience them yourself.

Warren Carlyle is completely in his element choreographing and directing this show. Every act is gorgeously tailored to show of the strengths of the performers and some of his ideas are pretty clever. For example, Dule Hill smiles at a girl and she brings him a helium filled red balloon on a string. He breaks into "I've Got the World On a String" and dances a soft shoe with the balloon. Then the ensemble comes on in pairs with their own balloons finish the number.

The orchestra is the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars and they sound great. They're on stage in a band stand that moves downstage when they have a solo moment.

I really wasn't even looking forward to this, but After Midnight surprised me and knocked my socks off.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
stevenycguy
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/18/13 at 10:53pm
Is this the same show as the City Center Encores show called "Cotton Club Parade" ? Did they make any changes? I wonder why they changed the name. It was superb off-Broadway so I'm glad to hear it's just as great on Broadway.
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aasjb4ever
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/09
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/18/13 at 11:00pm
^It is what was "Cotton Club Parade," but I haven't seen either incarnation so I don't know how many changes were made between off-Broadway and Broadway.
What a colossal piece of crap! It'll probably run for years.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/18/13 at 11:05pm
I unfortunately didn't see it at City Center, but I believe a decent amount of the cast is new, so I wouldn't be surprised if there is some new material. Each song was arranged and staged so specifically to show off each performer.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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dshnookie
Broadway Star
joined:9/15/07
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/18/13 at 11:17pm
Whizzer, thanks for your great review. I'm seeing it tomorrow afternoon more so for a friend who's coming in to visit than my own personal interest, but I'm sold - especially to hear that Fantasia gets 4 numbers. I honestly wasn't expecting more than 2 appearances.
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RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/18/13 at 11:21pm
Honestly had no interest in this, but might have to see it. I love the poster design and whatnot, but I hate revue shows.
April Saul
Broadway Legend
joined:2/17/06
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/18/13 at 11:29pm
I'm with Steven on this one, caught it at City Center and it was just delightful! Not at all surprised by Whizzer's rave, as the earlier version got great reviews as well. I, too, will be looking for someone to compare the two, though, before I get a ticket, simply because there's so much I want to see right now. But very glad it found a home
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/18/13 at 11:29pm
Do you hate Ain't Misbehavin'? It's one of my favorite Broadway shows ever (and produced one of the best OBCRs). Sophisticated Ladies is pretty good too.

It's just as difficult to construct a good revue as a good book musical. Maybe even more so because revues seem so deceptively simply.

dshnookie- I hope you enjoy it. :)
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 12:36am
I loved Cotton Club Parade last year, and I'm happy to hear this incarnation is just as good! I'll try to get back and see it again. I thought the choreography was very imaginative, and the song choices excellent.
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RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 12:39am
Oh I don't disagree, I just like getting caught up in a story and the journey and blah blah. I'm not opposed to a revue - I rather liked Sondheim on Sondheim type stuff, but I don't know. What was the design like?
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 03:13am
whats this shows eligibility i.e tony's it doesn't have a book or a original score, nor are their really characters (except for the master of ceremony that Dule is playing) , so it would probably only be eligible for directing and technical categories right?
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 08:19am
It will be eligible for everything except Best Score and Best Book. Revues have won Best Musical before, and actors have been nominated and won.

Karine Plantadit, who dances beautifully here, was nominated for Come Fly Away just a few years ago.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 09:06am
Whizzer-you've convinced me. Is there a rush/lotto in place yet? (Trying to figure out the least expensive way to see this.)
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Wickedmonkey332
Featured Actor
joined:5/2/13
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 09:51am
Wow Whizzer- you just might have sold me on this one! But if I had to pick two from Twelfth Night, Great Comet, Big Fish, and this: what should I see!!??
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Okiekat
Understudy
joined:4/28/12
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 10:20am
Dreaming, After Midnight is currently on TDF.
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followspot
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/11
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 10:22am
This was somehow a "best kept secret" last year at City Center under the title COTTON CLUB PARADE, despite it being an encore presentation from the year before. I caught it last year during its one-week run and was so blown away by the non-stop, wall-to-wall, jaw-dropping talent and sheer ENTERTAINMENT that I went home and bought a ticket to see it again the following (final) night. Adriane Lenox prowled the stage and brought down the house in each of her numbers, but for me the evening's biggest fireworks came from moments of pure DANCE and the full-blast Lincoln Center Jazz All-Stars. Easily the most electric 90 minutes I've seen on a New York stage in eons.

Glad to hear the good word on Fantasia in the "guest spot" — I believe k.d. lang follows in the spring. This is a show I'll be revisiting often.


"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
Updated On: 10/19/13 at 10:22 AM
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 10:52am
Wicked Monkey-Go see Great Comet and Twelfth Night (I can say that without having seen this). Frankly I think Great Comet and Fun Home are the two best musicals I've seen at present. (But I chose from your options there.)

Okie-I'm not on TDF so I can't use that. I'm willing to do SRO if they have that.

Updated On: 10/19/13 at 10:52 AM
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Okiekat
Understudy
joined:4/28/12
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 11:02am
Dreaming, not sure if there's SRO yet, but I would try. Theaters often change policies during previews. The discount code: MAIL is still available, but of course that's a smaller discount ($65 for mid mezz). I saw the show both years at Encores and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the broadway version.
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 11:18am
Thanks. I'm going to wait and see.
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 12:19pm
WickedMonkey- Without knowing your likes and dislikes, I would personally see The Great Comet and After Midnight from your list. Twelfth Night is great, but I preferred After Midnight. If you are a fan of dance shows you aren't going to find anything better in the city. I do think The Great Comet is the best musical playing in New York FWIW.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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ACL2006
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/06
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 12:24pm
this looks like it could be the sleeper hit of the 2013-14 Broadway season.
A Chorus Line played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013.
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 06:18pm
Comparing this to Twelfth Night seems a little bit like apples/oranges.
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 06:25pm
Pleasantly surprised to hear these reviews! So this a complete revue then? No story? Sorry, I'm not as familiar with this as I should be!
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 06:25pm
Pleasantly surprised to hear these reviews! So this a complete revue then? No story? Sorry, I'm not as familiar with this as I should be!
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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uncageg
Broadway Legend
joined:5/13/04
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 06:32pm
I was going to wait until K.D. Lang joined the show but maybe I should go now.
Just give the world Love.
Luv2goToShows
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/09
After Midnight First Preview
Posted: 10/19/13 at 07:36pm
I saw this two years in a row at City Center and loved it. I would like to see it again, it is just a matter of fitting it in. I am curious to hear how it compare to the Cotton Club Parade, if and what changes were made. Run time is the same so I am thinking they did not make many, if any, changes, other than casting (some)

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